Next Meeting – April 15

The next regular monthly meeting of the Branch will be held on Wednesday, April 15, 8 p.m., at the American Legion Hall, 502 Colonial Ave., North Woodbury. The regular monthly meetings of the Branch are held on the third Wednesday of each month at 8 p.m.

Branch Officer & Shop Stewards Meetings Wednesday – April 8

The Branch Board of Officers and Executive Board meetings are held on the 2nd Wednesday of the month. The Board of Officers at 7:30 p.m., and the Executive Board at 8 p.m. The next meeting of the Board of Officers and Executive Board will be on Wednesday, April 8, 7:30 and 8 p.m. respectively.

Attendance Prize Now At $100

Had he been in attendance at the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on Wednesday, March 18, Thomas Schindler, a carrier out of the Voorhees office, would have been the recipient of the $75 attendance prize. The prize now increases to $100 and will increase $25 per meeting, up to a maximum of $250, until a member in attendance has their name drawn.

From The VP’s Case

Last month I told everyone how the “brain trust” in this district should be held accountable from their “higher ups” do to their arrogance and ignorance in the practices they are using to run this district. I explained that they would be paying through their noses with Article 8 violations, and my predictions are ringing loud bells throughout this district. Many branches are beginning to cash in on this windfall of “free” money, due to the stubbornness of this regime!
I figured once the money started rolling in the district would wake up and smell the coffee and cease and desist from the ridiculous practice of forcing NON-OTDL employees from working in the guise of a “Window of Operation” just to feather someone’s “bonus nest!” Word has it the DM’s bonus is tied to the 17:00 window! This makes a lot of sense as to why he is so adamant about keeping everyone to this time. Word also has it that some of his underlings are falsifying time cards to keep this 1700 window intact! I wonder if the O.I.G. would be interested in looking into this practice.
Getting back to the windfall of free money, this district ceases to amaze me with their position on these violations! I figured these violations would stop once they started paying real money for the grievances. Well, I was wrong. The genius’ calling the shots have decided to take a different approach by putting out a 6 page argument for management to use to try to win some of these grievances. It gives management every scenario to argue, even though most of their arguments can be nullified by the union. Listen up, LABOR, the way to win these grievances is to STOP forcing the local parties to violate the contract, period. This is the way the contract was set up, honor the provisions and there won’t ever be problems. Stop trying to circumvent the agreement with some fancy legalese paper, which the majority of managers can’t understand anyway. I am sure they will try this approach until we prove to them this will also make us money, and then I guess they will try something else! Will it ever end?
-Gary DiGiacomo, Vice – President

2nd Annual Branch Banquet – April 11
Last Call For Tickets

The 2nd Annual Branch 908 Banquet will be held on April 11, 2009 from 7:00 – 11:00pm at Nicolosi’s Catering, 1 Hessian Ave. Woodbury, NJ. This is the one night a year that we gather away from the Union Hall and take a few moments to honor those letter carriers who have retired in the past year as well as those who have been selected to receive Branch awards. For those of you who missed it last year, we keep the business part of the evening very brief and the remainder of the night is spent eating, drinking, dancing and socializing with good friends. For those of you unfamiliar with Nicolosi’s Catering, you won’t be disappointed. It is a beautiful facility with excellent food; just ask anyone who was there last year.
The following members of the Branch who have retired since our last Banquet will be honored and presented with tokens of our appreciation.

Michael Babli (Atco)   Steve Chojnacki (Riverton)
Anthony DeMarco (Atco)   William Gurecki (Woodbury)
Jack Kennedy Jr (Voorhees)   Joe Ouelette (Gloucester)
Ed Schopf (Paulsboro)   Michael Webb (Maple Shade)
Duane Wilson (Haddon Hts.)   John Wilson (Woodbury)
Chuck Seas (Woodbury) William Morris (Salem)
Bruce Pilling (Woodbury) William Scott (Westville)
Jim Wallace (Voorhees)  

Those being honored will receive one free ticket to the Banquet. All other Branch members, family, friends and acquaintances are encouraged to attend at a cost of $20 pp. Current Branch retirees will receive one ticket for half price ($10).
Tickets may be picked up from Branch Recording Secretary Norm Spence at any Branch meeting, or by mailing the form below with checks made out to NALC Branch 908, to PO Box 45, Pennsville, NJ 08070.

Name:_________________________________________
(please print)

Check One:      Honoree (   )     Retiree (   )     Other (   )

Total Number Attending: _________

Honorees – Free          Retirees - $10          All Others - $20

Amount of remittance enclosed: _________

Send to PO Box 45, Pennsville, 08070 by April 4

Early Out

The Postal Service has informed President Young that city letter carriers will be included in its new Voluntary Early Retirement offer. The timing for VER applications and deadline for action has not been set, but it will have the same terms as the 2008 “early out” program, Young said. That means there will be no financial incentives, and annuities will be reduced for those who take the offer. To be eligible, employees must be 50 years of age with 20 years of creditable federal service or any age with 25 years of creditable federal service. Eligibility requirements must be met by the effective retirement date of the VERA, July 31, 2009.

Shop Steward Of The Year

Well, the nominations are over and the awards committee has made their decision. The winner of the Branch 908 Steward Of The Year for 2009 is………Sorry, that won’t be announced until the Banquet on April 11. So, if you nominated your Steward, come on out and support him/her and see who has earned this award.

From The Health Benefits Officer

The Mutual Benefit Association (MBA), founded in 1891, was created for the benefit of NALC members and their families. The MBA is the life insurance division of the National Association of Letter Carriers. At the next General Membership meeting, I will have brochures on the products MBA offers.
- Fred Mendel, HBR

March Of Dimes - March For Babies 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Branch is looking for walkers to participate in the March of Dimes - March For Babies 2009 (formerly WalkAmerica) to help fund research on a new epidemic threatening our babies - premature birth. Each year, more than 40,000 babies are born too soon. It's the leading cause of newborn death and many disabilities. The 5-mile walk starts out at Campbell’s Field, Camden, 8 am. Check in begins at 7 am. To sign up or get more information about our team, contact Branch Trustee Donna Villec at 856-287-6215. Register with Donna and set a goal of at least $25. Bring a friend and walk!

Our Newest Gold Card Member

Congratulations to our newest Gold Card member, William Debes. William is a retiree out of the Williamstown office. The NALC national Constitution provides that upon completion of 50 years membership in the NALC a member shall be given a Life Membership card of gold which shall entitle them to all of the privileges of membership in the NALC without the payment of dues, per capita tax, or special assessments from the date of issue. Congratulations to William!

Membership Pins Issued

At the regular monthly meeting of the Branch on March 18, Joe Townsend, Branch member from the Bellmawr office received his 25-year membership pin. Also receiving his 25-year membership pin was Arnold Moore, Branch retiree out of the Gloucester office. Congratulations and thank you to Joe and Arnold for all of their years of service.
The NALC Constitution provide that: "When receiving proper notification by the Branch Secretary that a member has completed twenty-five (25) years, or thirty (30) years, or thirty-five (35) years, or forty (40) years, and forty-five (45) years of membership, the National Association of Letter Carriers shall provide a suitable lapel pin for such member". If you believe that you have attained the requisite amount of year's membership for the receipt of a suitable lapel pin, or your Gold Card, contact Branch membership chairman Paul Poniatowski at Paul@nalcbranch908.com.

Thanks Branch 908!

Thank you for your contribution to Tice United Methodist Church in memory of my Father, it was appreciated. – Wayne Kline, Bridgeton PO, retired
The American Cancer Society gratefully thanks you for your recent contribution for pancreatic cancer research, in memory of John W. Keyes.
Thank you for your contribution to the cancer society. – Jack Keyes Children – Donna, Danny, Dawn

From the Trustee Chairman

First, I would like to provide everyone some important numbers that we received on our recent trip to Washington, DC to visit with our Congressional Representatives. I myself have called these numbers on several occasions, and I think that everyone should take the time to call to let your representatives know where you stand on the issues that are affecting the Postal Service today. The White House Opinion Line 202-456-1111, Congressman Rob Andrews 856-848-3900, Senator Lautenberg 856-338-8922 and Senator Menendez 856-757-5353. Remember, these people work for us, let them know what you think!
We are facing some difficult times ahead with the Postal Service and we need to be strong and united. As members you need to try to attend the monthly Branch meetings, this is your opportunity to hear the latest news from our Officers and interact with fellow carriers from other offices.
Just as a reminder, the Board of Trustees must review all bills before they can be paid.
Also, we have a chance to honor our retiring members on April 11th at 7:00pm. Please make every attempt to come and wish them all the best in the future.
-Jim Comuso Sr, Trustee Chairman

Uniforms Available

The Branch has an overwhelming amount of spare uniforms donated from Retirees and other members from the Branch. These are used uniform items in good shape and even some new items that have never been worn. If you are a TE or PTF or just someone short on uniforms and a Branch Member in Good Standing, PLEASE come and put these uniform items to good use. Come to a general membership meeting or contact Trustee Chairman Jim Comuso at 609-932-9913, who will meet you at your convenience to pick out some items.

April Is EAP Awareness Month

The National Joint EAP Committee has proclaimed April 2009 as “Employee Assistance Program Awareness Month” at USPS. Many District EAP Advisory Committees will be providing special outreach to employees during April to increase everyone’s awareness of what EAP has to offer. EAP is a free, confidential, resource for all postal employees and their family members. The EAP, staffed by professional counselors who are not postal employees, provides information; counseling and referral to help you and your family successfully deal with life’s challenges. The EAP also offers consultation and coaching to managers and supervisors who want to maximize their effectiveness in the workplace, while also balancing work/life responsibilities. Take a few minutes to learn more about EAP by going to the website www.EAP4YOU.com. You will find articles on many different topics of interest to you, self-assessments, calculators, and much more. Call 24 hours a day, seven days a week for confidential support for work, family, and personal matters. To talk with an EAP representative, just Make the Call! 1-800-EAP-4-YOU.

MDA Fundraiser

As many of you know, the Muscular Dystrophy Association is the charity of choice for the entire NALC and has been for well over fifty years. The NALC was the first national sponsor of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and letter carriers are among MDA's top fund-raisers, collecting more than $20 million in the past 15 years alone to finance research and provide care and services for children and adults with muscular dystrophies. NALC's local branches are honored annually during the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon over the Labor Day weekend for their efforts. In recent years, we, as a Branch have not been doing our share and we would like to change that. Trustee Donna Villec has been appointed as the Branch MDA chairperson and is looking for any interested volunteers to serve on her committee and to help come up with fundraising ideas. Anyone wanting to help, or if you have a good fundraising idea, contact Donna at 856-287-6215.